Here we are at the end of our New Year, New Thing series. I hope you have gotten some fresh perspectives on your old resolutions and feel more equipped to be successful in this new year. But we have one more resolution to tackle…
Maybe you resolved this year to spend more time with your family. Or perhaps to make the moments you do spend more meaningful and intentional. So I’m happy to invite to the blog Ruth Schwenk, co-author of Hoodwinked: Ten Myths Moms Believe and Why We All Need to Knock It Off. Read on as Ruth encourages us to make our mama moments matter.
Do you ever have those days when you feel like you are running in a million different directions?
You wake up in a frenzy. Your night of sleep was more like a few nights out at sea in choppy, turbulent water—hardly calm and hardly restful! Your feet hit the floor running, and your head is spinning and your heart is pounding with all you have to do—or at least, are supposed to do.
You are rushing to get your child ready for school, while desperately trying to figure out where you put the cleats for tonight’s soccer practice. Meanwhile, you scramble for any sort of edible item that you can call “breakfast” for yourself, while trying to figure out how you can make your toddler’s diaper last just one more hour until you can get to the grocery store to buy more. All this, while fielding important, but relentless questions from your other children!
“Mom, do you know where my backpack is?”
“I can’t find my toothbrush!”
“Mom, can you braid my hair really quick?”
“I forgot to print my report last night. Can you print it for me before we leave?”
“Mom, can you paint my nails?”
And in case you are wondering …Yes. These are the questions with which I am typically bombarded almost daily.
Maybe your children are older. You find yourself running like a taxi service, or desperately wishing you had an assistant to keep up with the schedules—volleyball, theatre, track, etc. College visits? Research scholarships? Really, your life is so full that you are lucky to have dinner on the table! You find yourself at 3:30 p.m. every day just trying to figure out if you have enough in the cupboards to pull together a meal big enough to feed the bottomless stomachs that await!
Or maybe you feel like this most days??
I get it. I too often want to shriek a long, shrill and desperate cry for “heeellllppppp!!!” There are so many days where I wish I could just push the “pause” button on my life. All of the rushing here and there gets exhausting, and sobering, when you realize that time is short … really short.
If you have been a parent for more than about an hour, then you have probably heard someone say to you, “They are going to grow up fast. Enjoy these years, because the time will fly by.” We have all heard it. Frankly, I want to curl up into a ball and cry my eyes out when I even think of how fast my babies are growing up, so I do not need the reminder!
As moms, our quickly growing children are walking monuments to the truthfulness of those kinds of statements. These years, made up of tiny seconds and minutes, keep rolling and seem to gain momentum.
Psalm 90:12 says,
“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” (ESV)
The word wisdom in Hebrew means “skilled.” To have wisdom isn’t just to have information. Those who are wise are not just those who have biblical knowledge. To walk in wisdom is to live skillfully.
And here, the psalmist is connecting skilled living with stewarding time. Part of walking in wisdom is being skilled in the stewardship of the days God in his grace has given us. To waste them or mismanage them is to act foolishly and unskillfully. I love that connection!
The truth is this: Motherhood is NOT a rat race. When we buy into the myth that it is, we fill our schedules to overflowing and plant our minds in the future of the next thing and the next thing and the next thing. The time slips past us, tricking us by thinking it is a means to something better. But better is most often what is right in front of us—our spouse, our children, and our family.
Parenting happens in real time. Don’t miss the moments right in front of your nose. Living overextended and in tomorrow only causes us to lose today.
Ruth Schwenk is the founder of TheBetterMom.com, and along with her husband, Patrick, FortheFamily.org. She is the co-author of Hoodwinked: Ten Myths Moms Believe And Why We All Need to Knock It Off and Pressing Pause: 100 Quiet Moments for Moms to Meet With Jesus. She is a pastor’s wife with four energetic kids, a lover of coffee, and a dreamer of big dreams. A graduate of the Moody Bible Institute, Ruth and her husband have been in full-time ministry for over fifteen years. Connect with Ruth on Facebook and Twitter